Back to LA after less than 24 hours in Ojai and only a couple of hours at the beach, and yet this quick trip felt as restful as a week away to anywhere else. Such is the power of the Ojai orange grove and a magical little piece of beach in Ventura called “Surfers’ Point.”
We had our friends Jan and Rich Davies with us, along with our sweet granddaughter, Luna. Jan and Rich settled right into the orange grove, picking oranges, helping build the fire and assisting with the cooking of chicken thighs on a grate over coals. Luna played, sang, helped and generally entertained us all with her good spirits at getting to be outside with two of her favorite dogs, Sammie and Cordie. After the eclipse, which was odd, intriguing and beautiful, the moon beamed down with such bright light that no one needed a flashlight in the orange grove. We just trotted around as if there was a soft spotlight over everything. It was lovely the way the trees cast shadows from the moonlight.
This morning we had eggs, turkey bacon and toast made with butter in an iron skillet. Of course, we also had orange juice from oranges picked five minutes before off the trees. There is something indescribably delicious about how fresh and sweet that juice tastes when squeezed so soon after being pulled off of a tree.
Near noon, we headed down to Ventura beach and discovered that we had come on a day when almost no one else was there. Luna, Jan and I played in the surf while Sammie and Cordie ran along the water chasing seagulls and Rich and Ray rested on blankets in the sand. The sun glinting on the water, the rhythmic sound of the surf, and the perfect 77 degree weather created a picture-perfect afternoon at the beach. Luna would have stayed until dark if we hadn’t had to get back; Cordie and Sammie were just as reluctant to leave.
Now we are back home with a week full of work ahead. Luna is back home with her Daddy and Mama, Sammie and Cordie are sacked out in our living room, recovering from all that exercise they got today, and our friends are no doubt already in bed from a little too much sun. They will head back to Wales on Wednesday.
What a lovely short respite. An absolute treat after a concentrated period of travel and work.
We will look back at this short trip with fond memories. A combination of people, places and events that created just the right mix. We will miss our Welsh friends.
Here are a few pictures:
Jan, Luna and Rich
Jan Harvesting Oranges
Luna Waking Up This Morning
Rich Laid Out at the Beach
Ray, Jan, Luna and Sammie Having Fun